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UDOT designs new safety apparel for construction workers
14
Jun '12

A Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) engineer with an eye for safety wants construction workers to wear his attention-getting shirts.  

Workers who build and maintain roads and bridges are required to wear clothing that is brightly coloured with retroreflective bars meant to make workers visible to drivers during the day, and especially at night.
 
Sam Grimshaw, a UDOT Field Engineer, has come up with a new idea for clothing that he thinks will make workers even more conspicuous.
 
The issue as he sees it is that the commonly used clothing makes workers look similar to traffic control devices – the cones and barrels that delineate a construction zone. Instead of the typical horizontal and vertical stripes, Grimshaw placed retroreflective hexagons on bright orange fabric.
 
To prove his point about how workers can look barrel-chested, he took photos of workers wearing the typical shirts and his shirts at night. 
 
Commonly worn clothing has bars and colours that make workers look similar to traffic control devices, whereas Grimshaw’s clothing has hexagons that retroreflect light and minimize a barrel chest.
 
Grimshaw showed his prototype shirts to fabricators who said the new designs could be put into production without any trouble.
 
Grimshaw’s idea seems to have merit. However, the new clothing needs to have the appropriate review and approval before workers can make the switch.
 

Utah Department of Transportation Blog

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